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NFL News and Notes: Buffalo Bills Hire Female to Coaching Staff and Other Thoughts

Leave it to Rex Ryan to once again change things up a bit in the NFL.

Since the season ended, Ryan, whose Buffalo Bills finished 8-8 this past season, has been given a mandate of sorts from management that the team must perform better in 2016. He has also hired his twin brother, Rob, to serve as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Now, in a move that was going to happen sooner or later, the ever controversial head coach hired the first female full time assistant coach to his staff.

The Bills website made the announcement that Kathryn Smith has been named the team’s quality control-special teams coach.

Smith is the first female to be named to a full-time coaching position in NFL history.

“Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff,” said Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan. “She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities, and I just know she’s going to do a great job serving in the role of Quality Control-Special Teams.”

The NFL had its first female referee this season. The move is not a shock, but has drawn the attention of the media and fans, alike.

Smith is no spring chicken to the NFL, and has experience working with the NFL. She joins the Bills coaching ranks after spending 2015 as the team’s administrative assistant to the head coach.

Prior to joining the Bills in 2015, Smith spent 12 seasons working for the New York Jets. Smith originally began her career in 2003 as a Jets gameday/special events intern. She became a college scouting intern in 2005 before being promoted to player personnel assistant in 2007 and going on to be named assistant to the head coach in 2014.

TITANS WILLING TO TRADE FIRST PICK

The Tennessee Titans are a team with many holes to fill on its roster. So when word got out the team is not sold on keeping the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft, it made sense since there is no consensus top overall selection.

According to NFL.com, newly hired general manager Jon Robinson made it clear that the team will listen to “any and all offers” that are sent in his direction. This does not mean the team will definitely move the pick.

Robinson spent time in Tampa Bay’s organization before coming to Tennessee. He and Mike Mularkey will have to weigh all options before deciding if there is an offer worth taking. The fact Cleveland’s new head coach Hue Jackson has made it known the team will be looking for a signal caller with the second pick, just behind Tennessee, may push a team that wants a quarterback to move ahead of the Browns.

Most mock drafts have them taking Jared Goff of California with the second over pick.

FLACCO WILL REWORK CONTRACT TO HELP RAVENS

The Baltimore Ravens saw its season go down in flames. Joe Flacco saw his season end because of an injury. Now, the former Super Bowl winning quarterback said he will restructure his contract in an effort to help his team in the offseason.

Flacco has a cap number that the team cannot work with if it is to sign players to help the organization get back to the playoffs.

According to profootballtalk.com, team general manager Ozzie Newsome said he hopes there’s a way to build a strong team without restructuring Flacco’s contract “if we are strategic enough,” but that there could be conversations about restructuring the deal, which runs through 2018, this offseason.

That’s $28.55 million for Flacco alone on the books in 2016.

Flacco was open and upfront about wanting to win in Baltimore and knows something will have to be done. He is currently rehabbing his torn ACL injury. He also said he does not know how it will be accomplished or what is next in the process of making a change to his contract because he has not been approached yet by Ravens management.

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